Saturday, May 18, 2013

This week the water works CAME

So I haven't written in my journal in four days - SO BEHIND. Writing in my journal helps keep events and things fresh in my mind so now... my mind isn't so fresh. But there were a couple of times this week where the water works CAME. I'll take the time to talk about those :)
First, we saw Sister Grange again on Thursday! FINALLY! (Reminder - she's a less-active we saw a couple weeks back at her house, where she was having a Girl's Night with her friends).We knocked on her door and heard a voice trying to shut up the barking dog... but no one came. We tried once more. Then we started walking away until she showed up in the window and then opened the door! She had been NAPPING. ooooops. But like I said last time, she's such a chipper, funny woman. She didn't seem to mind at all!
So we walked in and sat down and started to get to know her! She's currently looking for work through the CIA or some other cool governmental agency. She asked some questions about us. Then we shared a message that we try to share with ALL less-actives - the Bible Dictionary definition of Grace. It encourages all to "access the Atonement" in their lives... AKA partake of the sacrament. So when we concluded, Sister Evans asked the harsh and scary words: "So Sister Grange, why haven't you been coming to church?" She looked at us and said very frankly, "I actually don't consider myself a Mormon anymore. It's a decision that's taken me about five years to make. It's a long story, but that's what I came to." Sister Evans and I were taken aback, needless to say. So Sister Evans asked, "What made you come to that decision?" And Sister Grange explained, "Long story short, it's been my career to go to these countries around the world and learn about their cultures and religions and the doctrine of the Mormon church just doesn't fit in many them. It just doesn't work." And that was that. There was nothing we could do because we knew she was closed off. What KILLS me is the sake of calling it the Mormon church, when all I really wanted her to say was "Christ's church". This IS Christ's true church - that HE established on the earth 2,000 years ago. Mormon is just a name! I hope all who read this realize that truth.
Well... Sister Evans told her that we wanted to keep coming by, at least to be friends with her! I couldn't have agreed more, but as I finally took that turn to speak... I just started to cry. My eyes welled up and I couldn't talk right. Sister Grange looked so confused like "Why is this chick crying?" But she was sweet and asked "Are you okay?" I told her yes and played it off like I normally don't cry. I looked at her and just told her that I KNEW God loved her and recognized her and situation. Then I said that we would really still love to come back because I know I feel the Spirit when I'm with her. She still has it! I hope that made her think. BUT MAN. I did NOT expect to cry that day! But seeing someone fall away due to such reasons just really broke my heart. I'm pretty sure, despite contacting many less-actives thus far, that THAT was the first time my heart truly broke for someone out here. It hurts - but like I told her... God is aware of her and will eventually help her find the way back to Him.
The picture attached is of the Bazzarone family. The husband is in our bishophric and his son is the one that had that AMAZING farewell, with Bryce Harper in attendance! Sister Bazzarone asked Sister Evans and I to come by and share a message with their son before he left on his mission. Turns out we were to come over the DAY before he was leaving to the MTC! We used Elder Bednar's talk "Converted Unto the Lord" from October 2012 conference, which explained the difference between having a testimony and being converted. We assumed that the people he'd be serving in Cape Verde, Africa would be humble souls who have testimonies of God and Christ - but may have a hard time being TRULY converted. It was a great lesson! Sister Evans had Brother and Sister Bazzarone bear their testimonies to their son and I just BAWLED. Because they BOTH did! It was a very spiritual moment that I will never forget. Brother Bazzarone is a convert and Sister Bazzarone has never had a missionary go out on her side of the family - so this was a HUGE moment for them. A lot of anxiety for their son. But they're both such wonderful people and have powerful testimonies! I'm grateful to have such great examples in my ward!
I'd like to leave the scripture Alma 13:24, which says:
"For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."
There are angels ALL around us. They are preparing those people that I need to find and teach! And these angels aren't necessarily on the other side of the veil, but in fact, they are people like the Bazzarones who helped friends not of our faith know that there is more out there. And THAT is how we prepare souls. So be an angel! And assist those you know in finding out more about the gospel so that THEY can be a prepared soul for some missionary out there... just like me :)
Thank you all for your love and support. And your PRAYERS! I feel them everyday. Continue to be great examples to those around you!
Sister Hansen


Unfortunately, I did not have a mexican fiesta for dinner last night. But all is well!
1) Sister Supath (not Supaph, like I said last week) Bradshaw
We met with Sister Bradshaw AGAIN on Wednesday! And guess what? Her sweet, 86-year old Thai mother was there too! She's a faithful member of the Oakton ward, so she had no problem that we were there visiting her daughter! We talked to Supath about church attendance and why it's so important. Sister Evans mentioned to her that it was not a coincidence that we were there - but that this is the opportunity for her to come closer to Christ and return to His fold. Again, she cried. The Spirit touches her so easily... reminds me of Mom! I love it. She agreed to come to church with us this Sunday, so we all carpooled together (her mother included). It was so great! She enjoyed the meetings and even met with Bishop afterwards. He was able to give her some counsel and was very loving towards her and her situation. Sister Bradshaw has committed to us that she will come again next Sunday and that she'll throw out those things in her life that are holding her back. We're so excited for her and can really see how happy this makes her! She told us after that if we hadn't come to her house that day, she wouldn't be here. She also said that 8 pairs of missionaries had met with her in the last 10 years, but none of them tugged at her heartstrings like we did! It made me feel really good inside to know that the Lord wanted US to be the ones to return her to activity. What a blessing!
2) Glen has yet to meet with us again :( He and his wife are seriously gone every weekend so it's hard to catch them. We hope to have another lesson this week and commit him to baptism (with a date)!
1) Brendi Figueroa
Remember David? Well, we've been teaching his mother this past week! David is still living at his girlfriend's house in Reston (out of our area) so that's a bummer. But his mother has been going through some SERIOUS trials. Her license expired not too long ago and a cop pulled her over and gave her a ridiculous amount of tickets. Somehow, she got sent to court and eventually to jail for 10 days. When she got out, she had no job anymore and still needed to pay her bond off. She ALSO needed to get a new job and her license renewed all before she had to go back to court in a week. A WEEK! Or else she would be sent to SIX MONTHS in jail. We caught her at just the right time and were able to contact many members in our ward and in the Spanish ward to help her out with job possibilities and such. Meanwhile, we shared with her some comforting messages and prayed for her A LOT. We even were able to teach her about the Restoration of the gospel! She was VERY humble and teachable, and quite receptive to all that we taught her. A couple days later, we found out that her court date was extended for a month because her awful judge was sick and couldn't make it to court. BLESSINGS! So now she has month to get a job and a new license. We are now having the Spanish Sisters work with her and hopefully she'll continue to grow in the knowledge of the gospel.
So these were huge blessings to us this week. For the lack of investigators and lessons we teach, we're still able to see many miracles in our area. We are picking up potential investigators as we go along street contacting or tracting, and I know that these could potentially be those people that are ready to hear the gospel - maybe not now, but sometime in the future! You never know. President Riggs said that we, as missionaries, usually contact a person SEVEN times before they agree to a discussion. So he advised us not to worry if we're not the seventh and final contact - just be ONE. It will all work out as it should in the end.
To describe the picture attached - this is the Payne Family! We had dinner with them on Thursday. Because the wife is allergic to wheat, we had grilled chicken salad for dinner. Just salad. That was it. And if you know me, you know I don't care too much for salad. Well guess what? I ate nearly the WHOLE thing. And I felt really funny after. Like, I was full... but a weird kind of full. A fibrous full. It was so interesting. ANYWHO, Sister Evans found out that an old investigator of her's was getting baptized this Saturday and she was asked to speak! So we desperately needed to find a ride because it was 30 miles away in Mt. Vernon. We called a WHOLE bunch of members but no one could do it. So we called Sister Payne, who picked up and before we could ask, said hurriedly "Can I call you back? My son just fell off the bed." We knew then that if she calls back, we should just say that we got it figured out because we KNEW her hands were too full with those boys. She called back, and we told our lie. But then she said "Oh, I could have taken you to a baptism." Sister Evans and I looked at each other and immediately admitted that we lied to her and that we still need a ride. She said "Missionaries lie? You sneaky missionaries!" Hahaha she is HILARIOUS by the way. So we showed up at their house on Saturday, not knowing if it was going to be just her taking us or what... but it was her WHOLE adorable family! They all were dressed up and ready to go with us. (By the way, we only gave them a DAY'S notice). It was such a cool experience to go with them. I feel so blessed to have them in the ward where I serve! Such a great act of kindness to us that I will NEVER forget.
I'm so grateful for this church and for the people in it. Learning about Christ and how He served and loved others really does REFLECT in the members. I hope to grow more Christ-like throughout my life - and be that hand that someone needs! I know that this is HIS gospel and that as long as we look to HIM, we're going the right way. Every time.
LOVE YOU ALL! And thank you for everything.
Sister Hansen

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Hi All,
This week is so chalk-full of stuff that I don't even know where to begin! So I think I will break it up into sections in order to remain sane. I will do it by subject - hope it all makes sense!
1) Sister Elisha Grange
This woman is AMAZING. We caught her on a Thursday night when she was having a G.N.O (Girl's Night Out) with two of her married Mormon friends. She let us right in and is literally the sweetest person EVER. She was cooking Afghan Pudding and handed us big bowls. I didn't care for it, but I ate it ALL. Sister Grange said that she first had this dish when she was on assignment in Afghanistan. She was at a dinner in the home of a Second Commander of the Taliban (YES, REAL TALK). He HATED her apparently, mainly for the fact that women in that country should never be at the same table as the men (or something like that). But she didn't care what he thought - she just ate her pudding! Haha I can't wait to find out more about her job. She didn't come to church on Sunday like she said she would :( But we plan to meet with her again REAL soon.
2) Sister Supaph Bradshaw
This woman's records aren't even IN our directory. But she let us right in! A member had mentioned that she lived down her street and that she HAD been baptized (where are her records, I don't know!) Anyways, Supaph is originally from Thailand, but was baptized in America in 1990. Her husband is in the Navy and travels ALL the time, so she basically has been a single mom all her life and found it hard to come to church. Her conversion story is cool though: Missionaries met with her and her mom, after her first husband took her kids away from her. After learning what she was supposed to do (relating to the gospel), she promised God she would go to church EVERY Sunday if He would bring her kids back to her. She got baptized and... He DID! But then she stopped going and guess what? Husband took them away AGAIN. She eventually got them back but has always felt embarrassed to come back into chapel because of the promise she broke all those many years ago. She was crying and everything :( But we promised HER that God is always there - ready to welcome her back! We plan to visit her again and see her at church this Sunday!
1) Mulu
A lady in our ward, Sister Hubner, has an Ethiopian friend named Mulu who she invited over for dinner and a lesson with us! The lesson went really well and was so spiritual! Mulu came to church on Sunday and stayed for ALL THREE HOURS. We hope to visit with her this week - but haven't made an appointment. So keep her in your prayers!
2) Glen
Had a lesson with Glen and the Bishop! The Bishop helped teach Glen about what the Atonement REALLY means and it went really well. Glen is making slow but steady progress, but we haven't committed him to a date for baptism. I think he sees how important it is, but he doesn't want to be rushed. No rushing here! Just inviting :) But we definitely foresee some major changes in his life!
Well... I have to cut it short. But we had an AMAZING sacrament meeting yesterday. Bryce Harper from the Washington Nationals was even in attendance! (YES, REALLY). A member of the Bishophric, Brother Bazzarone, has a son who is leaving for Cape Verde on a mission, so it was his farewell. AT LEAST 40 non-member friends and family showed up at Sacrament. Truly incredible. He gave a wonderful talk. Everyone cried. What a meeting!
I found a scripture this week that made me emotional. I found it out of context though - Matthew 25:21. Yes, it's normally read with the Parable of the Talents. But try reading it alone!
"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful aservant: thou hast been bfaithful over a few things, I will make thee cruler over many things: enter thou into the djoy of thy lord."
I love the words "few" and "many". We, being mortal, mess up SO MUCH each and everyday and when it comes down to our last days - we really will have only been faithful over a FEW things. But you know what? God knew that. Christ knew that. And yet, They're still willing to give us rule over MANY things. Because They love us and know of our potential. As long as we live up to our best and use that Atonement - that's all They could ever ask for.
I love this gospel and I love my mission! I am being educated EACH and EVERY day. Thank you all for your prayers, love, and support. I couldn't be happier or more blessed.
Sister Hansen